President Obama took to the bully pulpit today to once again warn that he would high-handedly refuse to negotiate over the debt ceiling if the Republicans insisted on further cuts without yet more tax increases. Then he had the temerity to suggest that Republicans would be at fault if a government shutdown resulted from his deep and abiding attachment to every cent of federal spending:
They will not collect a ransom in exchange for not crashing the economy. The full faith and credit of the United States of America is not a bargaining chip. And they better decide quickly because time is running short.
This is sheer political thuggery. The only person who demands a ransom here is Obama – he demands an increase in the debt ceiling, lest he allow America to default on her debts rather than cutting elsewhere. It is Obama who uses the debt ceiling as a bargaining chip to force Congress to continue to greenlight his shopaholic governance.
Republicans want to have a serious conversation about America’s debt. But as Obama told House Speaker Rep. John Boehner (R-OH), he doesn’t think America has a debt problem in the first place. So instead, Obama will demagogue the issue and suggest that Republicans cruelly want to cut services, since they’re mean, heartless folks who hate the poor and crave the company of Scrooge McDuck.
Meanwhile, we spend. And spend. And spend.
Unless Republicans stand tall.
Ben Shapiro is Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the book “Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America” (Threshold Editions, January 8, 2013).